ESMA approves Austria’s short selling ban

In particular, FMA notifies that the concerned measure bans any legal or natural person from entering into or increasing a short sale or a transaction other than a short sale which creates, or relates to a financial instrument and the effect or one of the effects of that transaction is to confer a financial advantage on a natural or legal person in the event of a decrease in the price or value of shares admitted to trading on the Regulated Market of the Vienna Stock Exchange (Amtlicher Handel; WBAH) and for which the FMA is the Relevant Competent Authority under Article 2(1)(j) of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012. The ban applies to transactions executed both on a trading venue or over the counter.

ESMA considers that less stringent measures could not adequately address the threat to confidence in the Austrian market. A temporary restriction on short selling according to Article 23 of the Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 would not address the threat to market confidence as it would remain applicable for a few days only and would be limited to short selling without covering any opening or increasing of net short positions.

The full notice is available at https://www.esma.europa.eu/sites/default/files/library/esma70-155-9604_opinion_on_fma_emergency_measure_under_the_ssr_all_shares.pdf

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